Ad insertion and the resulting revenue are a core service offering for SoundStack clients. While there are lots of different aspects to playing commercials and ads on your station streams, this article focuses on using the ad triggers and how they work.

In this article we will cover:

In order to trigger the ad insertion mechanism on our servers, you must place Trigger Files into your automation program and ensure that the metadata is being correctly sent. You may also elect to run more than the required minimum number of hourly triggers, and this could allow your station to generate more revenue.

Ad Trigger Files

Here is an overview of the ad trigger files:

  • The ad trigger files are located in the ZIP folders linked below.
  • Each folder contains files for specific lengths (120, 90, 60, 30 seconds), and there are 5 copies of each trigger spot. This is so that you can trigger multiple ads of the same length in your automation system.
  • Once downloaded, unzip the folder and place the ad trigger .MP3s where your automation system pulls tracks from.

Here are the ad trigger files in sets of 5 and contained within ZIP folders:

Ad Trigger Configuration and Notes

  • Some automation systems require additional steps in order to get the ad triggers to actually trigger ads. These settings control how metadata is transmitted for certain files and the frequency at which ads are played as part of your programming rotations. You'll want to follow instructions specifically related to your automation system.
  • Per our terms and your agreement with SoundStack, you must run a minimum of 3 minutes and 30 seconds of trigger files an hour if you are running pre-roll spots. If you are not running pre-roll spots, then the minimum is 4 minutes. You choose whether or not you would like pre-rolls enabled when signing up for our services or during the deployment phase.
  • Do not run 2 trigger files back-to-back. Our insertion system will ignore the second file and therefore not trigger any ads. Instead, you'll want to pick the ad trigger which matches the duration of the ad break in your programming. Our system can fill the ad break duration with multiple commercials. The exact count of ads inserted is dependent on the ad market availability and the trigger duration request sent to our servers.
  • You must point all of your listener traffic to the stream server that we have provided you. If you do not, you will not receive ad impressions for those listeners. We highly suggest the use of PLS and ASX files to give to directories such as iTunes, Windows Media Guide, and TuneIn for distributing your stream. 
  • Occasionally, we may need to update the ad trigger files for technical reasons. When this happens, we will announce it. It will be important that you delete any old trigger files from your local music library or the folder that your automation software picks the trigger files from so that you can replace them with any updated versions.

Ad Insertion Fundamentals

The audio content of the triggers is irrelevant, as the files themselves contain a metadata trigger to insert an actual ad on the listener's end. As such, you may hear the same audio over and over again if you are listening to the "studio feed" of your station. When you listen as a listener through a stream link or player, you'll then hear the inserted ads and not the triggers. 

The ads are delivered (inserted) to the listeners depending on several dynamic factors, including their geolocation. In other words, listeners from different cities or states may be hearing different commercials on your stream while tuned in at the same time. For example, your listeners in St. Louis will hear different ads than those in Detroit. Tuning in from a different computer or mobile device is not enough to hear different ads: You would need to travel to a different city, county, or even state in order to notice the difference in ads being inserted.

From time to time, some locations may hear more PSA's than ads. This depends on the ad market availability of ads to be served to that geographic region. When there is a low ad availability, listeners in certain areas may hear more PSA's than ads. This varies, and we strive to maintain a high number of high-quality ads available to be delivered across our network.

Lastly, it's good to mention that the ads will change in variety as existing or new advertisers submit new ads to the ad provider. The resulting change in variety is based on the regional market where those ads are meant to be delivered to.

If you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact our Support Team through the ticket submission form or by emailing us at